Climate change and its effects can be seen around the world with its influence on water industry, our biodiversity and forests. It also has impacts on our health and socio-economic conditions. A report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that the under developed and poorly developed nations are more on the verge of climate change and are more susceptible to its effects. This can be seen whenever any climatic disaster occurs in such area the poor are more affected due to lack of communication and resources.
Human made activities i.e., anthropogenic activities are the major cause for such climate related disasters and the people with low wages are highly affected. The release of the green house gases and consumption of fossil fuels has significantly increased after the industrial revolution. These gases remain in the atmosphere for a long period of time and warm the planet in turn. Pakistan is one of the countries that are and will be highly affected by the effects of climate change and no part of Pakistan will be safe from its impacts.
Have a look at: What is Climate Change Adaptation? – Importance and Methods
Location of province
Azad Kashmir is also known as the Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It is in the northwest of the India. It is neither a province nor a state of Pakistan but is economically linked to Pakistan and is considered a free region. The area is about 1680 square km and has a boundary between the Indian occupied Kashmir. It has Punjab in the south west and south, west is occupied by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan in the north
Topography of province
It is located in the hills of the Jamgarh peak in the Himalayan peak. The Pir Panjal range is in the south. This region is in subduction zone and is extended up to the Indian and Australian tectonic plates and is vulnerable to earthquakes. A strong seismic activity of earthquake was formed in the Muzaffarabad in 2005 that killed thousands of people. The river Jhelum and its tributaries are in the mountain ranges. The sandy alluvial fans are in the Punch region in the south. There are thorn scrubs, denser grasses, pine forests in the north. Wheat barley, and corn is grown in the valley. The main occupation is farming and livestock rearing. There are marbles in the valley. Graphite, silica, zircon, quartz, chalk, bauxite, graphite. people produce carpets, wooden furniture that are handmade.
Effect of climate change on Azad Kashmir:
- Glacial retreat
Himalayan glaciers that melt and feed the rivers of Asia are melting at a fast rate than before. The Kolahoi glacier are the most fastest declining glaciers due to global warming but the rates are very low. There are more than 7000 glaciers in Himalayan region in which 3000 are very catastrophic and can cause vast destructions.
The floods have also become very common in Azad Kashmir. The stream moved from Salkhala merges into Neelum valley and causes the main floods. The cloud burst in July 2021 caused about 30 deaths in the Neelum valley. The floods moved from Muzaffarabad to the Neelum valley and a couple drowned in the floods also. Floods in 2004in the Indian ocean tsunami killed hundreds of people. In July 2010 20 percent of the land was swept. The federal flood commission reported that more than 5000 people were killed and more than 500,000 houses were swept.
- Extreme weather events like heat waves
Heat waves are common in the region of the Islamabad and Muzaffarabad in which the 2015 heat wave due to the scorching temperature killed hundreds of people. There is increasing temperature in the months of the June, July and august. According to the Pakistan meteorological department the heat waves will be more common and frequent in the summers.
have a look at Effect of Climate Change on Punjab Province of Pakistan
Ghoin valley in the Muzaffarabad region has common landslides due to the deforestation and has common snow avalanches in the region about 2000 people were affected due to the road blockage. For more information: Landslides and Rockfall – Causes, Effects, and Prevention
- Soil erosion
The soil erosion in the Neelum valley has caused loss of the top fertile soil and the sediments flow directly in the Neelum valley and increases the sediment load in the valley. The top soil loss is causing degradation
- Seasonal change and decreased crop yield
Due to the high temperature reaching up to 40 degree Celsius there is less crop yield of wheat, maize, corn and rice. The germination of seeds are also affected and proper reason for germination needs to be evaluated
Azad Kashmir is considered as the Switzerland of Asia .Therefore it is necessary that we protect this valley from the harmful effects of the climate change and help people in the mitigation and adaptation against climate change so that people can have more opportunities and there is no lost of precious life.
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for more info Effects of Climate Change on Sindh Province of Pakistan
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